Astronaut Buzz Aldrin To Headline HPU Commencement Weekend


HIGH POINT, N.C., April 22, 2009 ? High Point University has a special and inspiring weekend full of celebration planned for the 2009 Commencement Weekend, to be held May 8-9. The event, which always brings renowned speakers to campus and proves to be a highlight of the academic year, will feature NASA Astronaut Dr. Buzz Aldrin as the Commencement speaker. In fact, 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of Aldrin?s historic walk on the moon. Dr. Michael Brown will be the featured Baccalaureate speaker. The events are not open to the public.
Scheduled events for May 8 include:
?        Commencement Luncheon, 11:30 a.m. in the Millis Athletic Convocation Center on the HPU campus. HPU President Dr. Nido Qubein will be the featured speaker.

?        Baccalaureate, 6 p.m. at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, located at 1225 Chestnut Drive in High Point. Dr. Michael Brown will speak at the event.
Scheduled events for May 9 include:
?        Graduation Ceremony, 9 a.m. on the Roberts Hall Lawn. NASA Astronaut Dr. Buzz Aldrin will be the featured speaker. The rain site for the ceremony will be in the Millis Athletic Convocation Center.
Highlights for the 2009 Commencement Weekend:
?        Dr. Buzz Aldrin is best known for his historic Apollo 11 moonwalk with Neil
Armstrong. Following his historic spacewalk, Aldrin was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom ? the highest American peacetime award ? as well as numerous distinguished awards and medals from 23 other countries. 
?        He founded Starcraft Boosters, Inc., a rocket design company, and the ShareSpace Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to advancing space education, exploration and affordable space flight experiences for all. Aldrin is a graduate of West Point and earned a doctorate in astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Manned Space Rendezvous. While there, he devised techniques that have been used on all NASA missions, including the first space docking with the Russian Cosmonauts.
?        High Point University alumnus Dr. Michael Brown serves as the senior pastor of Marble Collegiate Church in New York. Marble Collegiate Church, formed in 1628, is famous as the place where Norman Vincent Peale, author of ?The Power of Positive Thinking,? served as senior minister for 52 years. Brown?s ministry as senior pastor at Marble includes preaching, partnering with staff, programmatic visioning and implementation, stewardship and serving as a liaison between the church and the city.
?        Kelly King, CEO of BB&T, will be presented with an honorary doctorate during the Commencement Ceremony. He served in many roles before becoming CEO in 2009, including manager for its Central and Metropolitan regions, Raleigh city executive, Charlotte business services manager, Statesville consumer loan department manager, Statesville marketing officer, banking manager for BB&T’s branch network from 1988 to 2004, and BB&T?s chief operating officer from 2004 to 2008. King also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Branch Banking and Trust Company (BB&T Corporation?s primary banking subsidiary).
?        Dr. Nido Qubein, president, will speak at the Commencement Luncheon. Qubein is the recipient of the highest awards given for professional speakers, including the Cavett (known as the Oscar of Professional speaking), and many other honors such as the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the Horatio Alger Award for Distinguished Americans. He is also the author of many books and audio programs, and teaches the President?s Seminar on Life Skills to all freshmen at HPU.
?        Challenger, a bald eagle, will soar over the 2009 graduates and their guests during the ceremony. The eagle is named in honor of the Challenger space shuttle crew. The nonprofit American Eagle Foundation, headquartered in Tennessee, cares for Challenger, who was blown from a wild nest during a storm when he was a baby.
For additional information, visit or call 336-841-9130.
Every year, High Point University makes a special effort to bring inspiring national and international speakers to campus. Past Commencement speakers at HPU have included: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (2008); Dr. Bill Cosby (2007); Queen Noor of Jordan (2006); and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (2005).
At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in a fun environment with caring people. HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with 3,500 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 50 countries and more than 40 states at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report No. 5 among comprehensive universities in the South and No. 1 in its category among up-and-coming schools. ranks HPU in the top 6 percent among ?America?s Best Colleges.? The university offers 66 undergraduate majors, 40 undergraduate minors and seven graduate-degree majors. It is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the Web at
Chris DudleyVice President for

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